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“Not Stupid” written by Anna Kennedy
A book review by Beverly Guest our Charity Champion


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This is an inspirational true account of a lady called Dr Anna Kennedy OBE, and her fight alongside her husband Sean Kennedy for their children Patrick and Angelo.  To say this book inspires is an understatement, it’s a shining example of how Anna says; ‘You either give in, give up, or give it all you’ve got!’.

The foreword of Annas fabulous book is written by Dame Esther Louise Rantzen DBE, tv presenter and journalist – check this out on Annas website with further information it’s really informative https://www.annakennedyonline.com/not-stupid/.

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At the outset, Anna was faced with the rejection of so many schools all saying they could not meet her children’s needs. In fact in all, 26 schools turned them away.  TWENTY SIX !! It’s hard to imagine 26 schools turning children away, not because of the usual catchment area or for being full, but because Annas children had both been diagnosed with autism and needed specialist educational provision – something these 26 schools felt they couldn’t provide.. imagine as a parent being faced with that amount of rejection.

The fight to help her children was to become the start of many ‘you can’t do that’ challenges that Anna would face …. and ultimately overcome.  If you’re ever lucky enough to meet Anna, you will be bowled over by her energy, aura, enthusiasm and commitment to create equal opportunities for those with autism, to raise awareness, understanding and acceptance.

All this on the number of hours sleep you can count on one hand on a regular basis.  Outstanding dedication and resilience!

Truth be told, too many people still have the ‘Rain Man’ film in their minds of what everyone with autism is like.  Yet in reality, just like all neurotypicals differ, so do those with autism – there are no two alike, all are different in some way.

Anna from the outset of her sons diagnosis’, and from being turned away by so many schools, was determined to prove her sons were ‘Not Stupid’, that they had something to offer and COULD achieve.  The book explains, and Anna clearly demonstrates that she did just that!

Proving that anything is possible, if you believe.. then you CAN achieve.  Hence the title of Annas book..

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There are hundreds of thousands of people in the UK diagnosed with autism, and Anna wanted to show the World that having autism didn’t mean they were ‘stupid’.  She pulled every ounce of determination from her soul and succeeded in creating a vital centre of excellence for those with autism. 

A dedicated place to help those with autism to thrive and succeed in the best way they possibly could with support and encouragement, making them feel valued and part of society. And why shouldn’t they?!

A truly inspiring story of true grit, determination and love for two boys Anna believed in – but not just for her boys, the whole autism community, and all those with special needs. 

You will enter this book and go on a journey, following a winding road of emotions, tears of sadness and joy, and come out the other side feeling inspired, with a deep love and admiration that those with autism deserve the right to be heard, understood and accepted just the way they are.

She was ‘just a Mum’ of two boys with autism.  But in reality, she was much more than that.  She was a light, a beacon of hope, of inspiration.. someone who would continue her journey forever on this path of inclusion for all, indeed a role model for all. 

Have your tissues ready, as you delve into the TRUE story of a family who were determined to prove their boys deserved more.  And they did just that, and MORE.  Enjoy.

Follow Anna and her Charity’s’ journey here, and don’t forget to sign up for the newsletter! https://www.annakennedyonline.com/email-updates/



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